Emirates Team New Zealand put out by Swedes in jaw-dropping final race
The wind spun to the South yesterday (Thursday 9 July) at the Stena Match Cup Sweden, altering the game plan for the final five flights of Stage one of the event. The change in wind direction forced shorter legs on three rounds as teams tracked gusts through the rocky outcrop of the archipelago.
Sweden’s tortuous round robin defeated bookies’ favourites with Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/Black Match Racing – winner of this year’s Match Race Germany – and Peter Gilmour (AUS) Yanmar Racing, winner only 10 days ago at Portimão Portugal Match Cup, out of the competition.
Also out are Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Global Team, Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team, Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team, Reuben Corbett (NZL) Black Sheep Racing, Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing and Mattias Rahm (SWE) Stena Bulk Sailing Team, winner of Stena Match Cup Sweden two years ago.
The eight quarter finals skippers have been decided, with Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar and Jesper Radich (DEN) Rudy Project Sailing Team each winning their groups.
Magnus Holmberg was surprised to be squeezing into the final eight at 4-3 after a jaw dropping finale to his day. New Zealand’s Ruben Corbett led their final match for five of the six legs, but a wobble under pressure down the final run, gybing in front of Holmberg and picking up a penalty, gave Holmberg’s team the opportunity to take the win, propelling them to the quarter finals – much to the delight of the locals.
“We managed to slip through in the very end and now need to shape up some more. It’s difficult here every day there are new conditions and if you make a few mistakes you are out,” Holmberg commented.
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